Most Canadians support foreign-buyer tax: poll

But a higher proportion of British Columbians are in favour of the tax
Downtown Toronto. The Ontario government just announced plans to implement a 15% foreign-buyer tax in the Toronto region. A new poll finds most Canadians are in favour of such a tax | Shutterstock

A day after the Ontario government announced a 16-point plan—which includes a 15% foreign-buyer tax similar to Vancouver’s—aimed at increasing housing affordability, a new poll released by Zoocasa.com shows most Canadians are in favour of such a tax.

The survey found 69% supported a foreign-buyer tax, and 61% said they believe foreign buyers are pushing the cost of real estate higher. In British Columbia alone, these feelings were even stronger, with 75% in support of the tax and 74% believing foreign buyers were driving up the cost of real estate.

“Recent market fluctuations and policy changes aimed at controlling participation and entry into these markets have caused consumer and media interest to reach a fever pitch,” said Zoocasa CEO Lauren Haw.

“This report is a look inside the heads and homes of Canadians, and should be a companion piece for those seeking a more in-depth understanding of our housing market and how it affects Canadians.”

Zoocasa found that respondents in higher income brackets, defined as those earning $100,000 to $149,000, were the most likely group to be worried about the rising cost of real estate; the company called this a surprising finding. The ability to earn property income was cited as a factor that was twice as important to those aspiring to buy homes for the first time than it was to current homeowners.

The poll also found that on average, most Canadians would be willing to add up to 30 minutes to their daily commutes to reach areas with more affordable homes. More than 20% say they would delay major life decisions such as having children in order to be able to purchase property.

The Ontario foreign-buyer tax is not province-wide; it applies to areas located in and around Toronto in what is known as the “Greater Golden Horseshoe,” which reaches as far west as Kitchener/Waterloo, up to Orillia and east to Peterborough.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV

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